About Me

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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pilgrimage to Photography's Commercial Mecca





Ever since my son moved to New York City last summer, I had two major concerns. The first was that Jeremy might get swallowed up by the big impersonal metropolis. The second was figuring out when I could use the excuse of his new home to make my first trip the commercial Mecca for all photographers.

Jeremy is doing great in the city. He appears to be thriving on the

Jeremy Mixing at the Penrose
excitement and opportunities.  New York City is terribly expensive, but It turns out an experienced bartender has no problems getting work in the city that never sleeps, or stops drinking. I have no idea what his long term future holds, but for now he is young, happy and making more money than my daughter who is a social policy analyst in Washington, DC.  Stop by to say hi to Jer at the Penrose on 1590 Second Ave.

Given that our family is now spread across the Eastern seaboard,
we decided that for Thanksgiving this year we would split the

Jeremy & Abigail
difference and gather at Susan’s sister’s house in New Jersey. Joannie and Allen were spared any damage from Hurricane Sandy and they, at least, gave the appearance of being excited to learn that we had decide to descend upon them for the holiday. We had a lovely time.  In addition to a traditional holiday dinner, we went to see “Lincoln” on Friday and a Broadway Show Saturday and of course we never stopped feeding our children.

Sunday morning the kids slept in and I finally had my opportunity go to the Mecca. I have been ordering photographic equipment and electronics from B & H Photo for decades, but this was my first chance to visit their superstore at 9th Ave. at 34th St. All the stories are true. The Store is massive. It is the world’s largest retailer of imaging products, occupying 70,000 square feet of retail space

Over-Head Trolly: B&H Photo Image
holding over 170,000 products. The store is a marvel of commercial efficiency and is worth visiting just to see the over-head trolley system that transports your purchases to the front checkout area.   Needless to say I was overwhelmed. Susan found a bench and gave me about 2 hours to explore while she did crossword puzzles. Seriously? Just two Hours? I needed a plan and decided to focus on the photography section on the second floor. 


Only Part of the Photography Section

After the initial shock, I had to devise a plan of attack on the impossible. B&H has a dizzying number of opportunities to (waste) consume money, but the practical part of my brain knew that everything in the store could be bought online, probably cheaper and without New York City's nearly 9% sales tax. The true advantage of being at B&H is the opportunity to see, touch, and yes, drool over, everything.  Also the remarkably attentive and knowledgeable sales staff are amazing.  During my limited time, I focused on camera bags and flash brackets, both of which needed to be seen, manipulated and hefted to judge what might work best

Stroboframe
for me. I could use a bigger main bag and a medium sized back pack, somewhere between my compact Kata and my behemoth Tamrac Expedition Bag.   Photographers can never have too many bags and it was great fun being able to examine a plethora of options.
 In the end, I didn't pull the trigger on a bag but I did come away with a better feel for what might work in the future. I did get the simple flash bracket that I have been looking for. The problem has always been to find a bracket that would accommodate my Arca Swiss L Bracket, but one of the great sales people took the time to find a reasonably priced Arca Swiss Receiver that works nicely with the Stroboframe Bracket.   I never could have figured that out on line.

Remarkably, even with the addition of a 3TB external Hard Drive, I came away from my first immersion in photographic excess for only a little more that $200.  Susan was shocked and thrilled, but she knows that, with Jeremy living in the city, I will be back.

I am one of the first to insist that photography is about the vision and not the equipment, but we must acknowledge that, at our core, we all love GEAR. So, when you get to New York, you must drop by the Mecca.  Just remember that B & H is owned by Hasidic Jews and is closed from 1 PM Friday through Saturday and on all Jewish holidays.  Plan accordingly and try to allow more than two hours to play.




Check Out

B&H Photo

2 comments:

  1. Very imformative. Particularly in non-photographic times (like this past Thanksgiving)I'm often at a loss as to how to spend time when we visit our daughters in Manhattan. Now I have two spots to hit on our next visit, the Penrose (even though I don't drink) and B&H (even though i'm not as gadget-oriented as you).

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  2. Go to B&H Bob. It is my one best hope to drag you, kicking and screeming, into the 21st century. Now if I can only get you to shoot RAW!

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